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Advice Needed from Knowledgable People

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Advice Needed from Knowledgable People

1. Posted by Rapidfire (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Rapidfire has indicated that this thread is about Peru

Hello World.

Im a 19yo male soon to be receiving upto 5grand and a burning urge to skip the country (uk)
Ive had limited real world experience and have never lived alone and depite obvious fears i feel compelled to travel alone (talk about jumping in the deep end. though that is how i learnt to swim oddly enough).
Im not unintelligent (maths/physics alevels) but like many acedemic minds i suffer in common sense, however i am very adaptable, resourceful and a fast learner.

I have a loose idea of where i want to go. i figure ill start in peru, cusco to be more precise since i have native friends living there that would look out for me whilst i get used to the culture shock. From there I'd like to get to cayenne by february (i wot be leaving until atleast thissummer so thats feb2011) and end up in the USA. get a simple job to extend my moneys and stick around until my Visa runs out and buy a flight back home.

What im really asking for is tips and advice from people who have travelled the area in question and general advice from experienced travellers as a whole.

Thanks in advance.

ps. i relise that travelling alone carrys inherent risks and will try to be cautious.

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 6y

You shouldn't worry too much, better enjoy the planning (and the experience of travelling, obviously).

However, I am not convinced that your itinerary is the most suitable for someone with no travel experience at all. I'd suggest you stay on the beaten path a bit more, that way you'll meet more people which I think in your case may be a good idea. Then again, I don't know the northeastern Amazon basin at all: I might just be fussing over nothing.

3. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 6y

I agree with bentivogli you would be better of sticking to the beaten path.
I spend 9 months in Central and South America and while i spent most of it in the typical tourist areas, plans always change and then if you wanted to and felt up to it you could venture off the beaten track.

It all depends what you want really.If your one for wanting to be on your own or just mixing with the locals or whether your up for meeting other travellers from all around the world.
Both can be an amazing experience and while i spent most of my time with other travellers i still met many locals who i still speak to.

4. Posted by Rapidfire (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

I may want to add that i am quite stubborn almost to the point of idiocy. My main goal is to leave my current enviroment and throw myself into a completely different culture with brand new people and new things to do.

in terms of who i want to meet id say definately locals, though other travellers im certain would be an interesting find.

also being so dense about travellling i wouldnt know the beaten path if it bit me on the nose. I chose the two places in SA because i know them well (also the massive street party in feb in cayenne)

thnx for urposts. keep em coming! as you can tell without ur advice im liable to become dog food pretty quickly.
(lol emotional blackmail xP luv it)

5. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 6y

Just seen your from Great Yarmouth so i dont blame you for wanting out haha i used to live in Diss and been to Yarmouth many times. Theres nothing in that area thats even remotely appealing hence i got out.

Seriously though even though i never experienced any problems in South America but its not a place to be taken lightly.You really do have to be sensible and keep your eyes open at all times.

£5000 will go along way in South America.What i did was buy Lonely Planet South America and i read every page TWICE.
I highlighted everywhere that sounded cool or appealing to me and then wrote them down and worked out the easiest route.
However things change.I planned 2 months in Argentina and stayed for 6 months.

6. Posted by Rapidfire (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Thnx reece thats definately the kind of advice im after. Ill pop over to Smiths and see if they got any books like that once it stops bloody snowing.

7. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 6y

To start with, I've been in South America for just over a year and a half and I'd definitely recomend getting the Rough Guide over Lonely Planet.

Are you learning Spanish? or Portugues? if you want to have the experience of meeting locals and living abit of their culture then get classes now. Otherwise you'll just be a bystander, watching on in confusion. The good thing is that you've still got a lot of time and within a year you can learn a lot that will seriously enrich your adventures. That's why I love South America, you can see so much and use the same language. It's just a totally different experience.

As for where you're going to go, you can plan now, as everyone does but your plans will undoubtedly change as you meet people and learn of new places.

Remember to be flexible and don't rush. If you're enjoying yourself you don't necessarily have to complete your inicial goal, you can always go back in the future.

And finally....don't get a local girl pregnant. It happens.

8. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 6y

Quoting sirwhale

And finally....don't get a local girl pregnant. It happens.

hahaha sounds a perfect way to stay in an amazing continent to me.
although from experience i will say try not to fall in love with argentinian women.then again thats one reason i extended a 2 month stay into 6 months there and would love to of stayed longer.

9. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 6y

In many areas of Latin America young women outnumber young men, and a foreigner is often viewed as a ticket to US, Canada, UK or EU, however there are many "aprovechados" in Latin Am. countries, from women to families who take advantage of wanderers who speak or understand litle or no Spanish, there is a woman here, who speaks English (she was deported from US years ago) who "cruises" for young travelers to stay in her home, where her grown English speaking son acts as guide, I have heard all the travelers get robbed at gunpoint, all in teh same area near her house, when with the son, who always carries $5 with him. Heard one poor traveler had problem with ATM machine and gave her card and pin number to take to Bank!!!! Heard he left country broke.
Once you understand Spanish you are able to make judgements join (Google em) the big non profit Hospex Portal...Couch Surfing...local members 160 countries..and the social network for language learners worldwide, several languages, meet native speakers in your targt countries to visit..Live Mocha. Do more research on Mr. Google, fast and cheap before departure.